Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Crafty Tuesday: The Promise Of Things To Come

Have I mentioned The Musical? I'm sure I've mentioned The Musical :-)
This year it's 'Annie', an old favourite of mine with many memories attached........

In 1980 the show was playing at The Festival Theatre in Adelaide. I think I saw it at least 3 times as my flatmate was going out with one of the cast members. Of course, this doesn't even begin to cover the socialising we did with the cast throughout the run. I had loved the show from the first and this more personal connection only served to cement its importance as a part of my life story.

And now here it is again. I am delighted.

I don't think, if you'd asked me all those years ago, that I would have imagined my role in a production of 'Annie' as Stage Manager, props and costume mistress. In those days I was a budding starlet about to embark upon a statewide tour with the Arts Council. I was a 'singer/dancer/actress' and I thought that's what I'd be doing for the rest of my life. If you'd asked me about 'Annie' I would have laid money on the role of 'Miss Hannigan'. I still would. Anyone doing a production out there?

But, the Lord moves in mysterious ways. Here I am planning the manufacture of costumes for 6 lead orphans and another 6 extraneous orphans as well as collecting appropriate second hand gear to be used for other principals and chorus.

One of the things I wanted to do was create our own flavour for the orphans. We could have borrowed costumes from another school but we (the production team) wanted the orphans, in particular, to have a unique look. My vision was a palette of fabrics in a fairly monchrome colourway which could be mixed and matched to create a sense of haphazard 'family'.

This is what I've got. The idea is that the garments will be fairly full and individual but over the top of each one, the orphans will be encased in an identical uniform 'pinafore'. Kind of like their personalities being subjected to the strictures of authority and institution.
The stand out material, the green chintz, is for Annie.

The smock on the right is the one I'm going to work off for the orphans. It will be shorter and probably have a pocket on the front; and of course there won't be any pioneer bonnets :-) I'm also thinking that each pinny will be stencilled with the words 'NY City Municipal Orphanage' or some such beaurocratic moniker; perhaps along the back hem like a hospital gown?

The actual dresses I'm planning to base on the centre dress. Some will be long sleeved, some short, some with frills, some without, some with collar, some with V necks etc. I also plan to make one shorter one and put it with knickerbockers for the littlest orphan. Pepper, the aggro tomboy, may end up in trousers and a long shirt.

I know I am too old to get excited like this but whenever I lay the fabrics out to admire them and their pre-faded look; to see them as garments which have been washed 100 times but which still retain the spirit of individuality for each girl, I get goosebumps. I am a little worried that the overall final effect will not quite live up to my far reaching 'vision' :-)

Today I sent out the ubiquitous plea for sewing assistance. If anyone would like to volunteer, please leave a comment! I will supply a cut out garment and instructions for assembly. Mum? Li'l Sis??????? Carrie???????? :-D

For a whimsical wander through all things crafty, check out Crafty Tuesday.


Elisa said...

Oh you are ambitious!!! :)

Wish I could help you gut I guarantee what I could produce for you would NOT in any way shape or form resemble the vision you have!!!

carrie said...

You need to have an old fashioned sewing bee...or a little sweat shop! So when is this production? And HOW many orphans do you have to outfit? You clearly win for the most ambitious crafter of the week, month, maybe year??

But I do love the "vision" and the fabric! Eeeee!

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Sewing machine's hate my guts...plus the postage would probably be absurd. Oh wait! I don't have a sewing machine and really, you wouldn't want me near it anyway...

Looks like they're going to be cute costumes though!

BTW, are you sure you CAN get to old to be excited about stuff like that?!?! :-)

Arizaphale said...

Elisa and Jill: I do not understand the whole 'not able to sew thing'...oh hang on.....is it anything like my 'not able to cook'? :-) Actually, once I enlisted some mums to help in a school in Sydney. I asked them to cut out multiple costumes for me and they only cut out ONE SIDE!!! I seem to attract special ed people!!!!

Carrie: Great idea. One of the teachers suggested it yesterday actually. We think we'll come in on a Saturday and use the Home Ec room. I plan to bring goodies too as a form of bribery.

A Free Man said...

Um, is all this sewing going to get in the way of my baby cardigan? I think we need to set some priorities.

There was an article in yesterday's 'Crapertiser' about a serious lack of principals in SA - or was it principles - either way did you ever think of getting back into admin, out of the frying pan so to speak?

Stacy said...

I love your vision! I hope you are able to get them all completed in time for production. I'd offer my services, but unfortunately I'm trying to create my children's Fall/Winter wardrobes, without buying anything except coats. And I have to make a Mei Tai baby carrier by Saturday morning. Ay...always so busy! I'm sure you will get it done...you are definitely a do-er!